In Search of Biomarkers for Autism: Scientific, Social, and Ethical Challenges, by Walsh et al.
Thus, an article from 2011 on the challenges involved in searching for autism biomarkers concluded that “despite huge advances in the basic scientific understanding of autism, comparatively little has been achieved to date with regard to translating the resulting evidence into clinically useful biomarkers” (Walsh et al. 2011, 609–610).
There is widespread hope that the discovery of valid biomarkers for autism will both reveal the causes of autism and enable earlier and more targeted methods for diagnosis and intervention. However, growing enthusiasm about recent advances in this area of autism research needs to be tempered by an awareness of the major scientific challenges and the important social and ethical concerns arising from the development of biomarkers and their clinical application. Collaborative approaches involving scientists and other stakeholders must combine the search for valid, clinically useful autism biomarkers with efforts to ensure that individuals with autism and their families are treated with respect and understanding.
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